The commercial pilot reported that he visually checked the Cessna 152’s fuel tanks before conducting the personal flight and verified that they were full with a total of 26 gallons (24.5 usable) before the flight departed.
Fuel receipts corroborated that the airplane was refueled before the flight.
The pilot reported that, shortly after he descended from 5,500′ mean sea level (msl) and then leveled off at 3,500′ msl, about 3.5 hours into the flight, the engine began running roughly and then lost power.
Attempts to restart the engine were unsuccessful.
He subsequently executed a forced landing to a road near Madison, Georgia, and the airplane hit with a pole.
The Pilot’s Operating Handbook stated that the airplane had about 3.1 hours of fuel endurance at cruise power.
Responders to the accident site reported that there was no fuel in the fuel tanks.
Further, after the accident, the pilot stated the engine likely “ran out of gas.”
Therefore, the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot’s improper fuel planning.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.
NTSB Identification: ERA16LA091
This January 2016 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.